The Handmaids Tale
Margaret Atwood
Contributed by Marshall Raine
Chapter 27

The chapter begins with one of many between Ofglen and Offred. The two women walk and talk as they observe their setting. They note that there are several changes that have happened and that the streets as well as the buildings that surround them, have been transformed. Once popular shops like ‘Loaves and Fishes’, a fish store that used to open regularly, now only opens occasionally if ever. The two women stop at a prayer printing store known as Soul Scrolls. Inside the store, they watch the ongoing printing, and Ofglen openly wonders whether God hears the prayers. Offred responds with a blunt “no”, and this helps break the barrier of uncertainty between the two women and promotes a feeling of trust between them. As they return home, a black van, painted with the symbols of ‘The Eye’, Gilead’s spy network, stops, and two men accost a man with a briefcase, dragging him inside and driving away. While this happens, Offred holds her breath as she thought the van had come for them, and that their conversation had somehow been recorded.


This chapter gives a glimpse into the environment around Offred. One gets to learn of her friends, and her growth, as shown by her imagination, and feelings of emancipation. The chapter demonstrates to what extent the environment has changed, and the narrator notes that the changes are ‘thick’ implying that numerous alterations had taken place. In addition, it can be seen that the friendship between Offred and Ofglen has grown to a new level of trust as Offred reveals to Ofglen her true beliefs about rebellion that could land her in trouble. 

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